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E100-81: Romans 8:1-39




Romans is a long letter, and the divisions between "sections" are often not clear. So the end of the opening greeting is not obvious somewhere in Rom 1:14-17, but where? Nor is it clear that the division between Rom 1 and Rom 2 is in the right place. [Remember that chapter divisions were only added to the biblical text in the middle ages.] But Romans is packed full of crucial theology. [Pun intended ;) ]

Paulâs manifesto (Rom 1:16) sets up the book, and he continues to argue, first that Gentiles are "without excuse" since enough of the design of the Creator God is visible in creation that they should kn ow better, but nor can Jews excuse themselves - having the law they should know better still! The next chapters present the righteousness that IS available through the faith of and in Christ. From Rom 5 into the middle of our reading he talks about "sanctification" - how, once we are declared "righteous" (rightly in a restored relationship with God), God makes us holy. [Sanctus in Latin.]

Then from the middle of our reading a short section declares the wonder of our "glorification" - how in Christ our lives move beyond the ordinary and share here and now in the glory that is to come.

It is powerful stuff, and the last verses (Rom 8:18-39 and particularly Rom 8:28-39) are rightly a favourite of many Christians!

In 9-11 Paul turns to God's righteousness and the ongoing destiny of the chosen people. The rest of the book till the closing deals with practical outworking of all this theology!


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